Just wanted to share a brief life summary with you for my Mom who died 9 days ago. I was holding her hand and looking into her eyes as she passed. My brother and sister were there with her too. Her painless and rapid passing were a gift to all of us - modeling a happy transition, in gratitude for the fullness of her life, at peace with everything.
By sharing her obituary with you, I celebrate her life.
Miriam Marx, 87, passed at 4:45 pm on Friday, March 7 at the Highlands at Brighton Hospice in Rochester, NY, surrounded by her loving family.
With the soul of an artist who always treasured learning, Miriam was many things throughout her life: published poet, ministerial candidate, political activist, scholar, feminist and women’s community builder… a lover of song, art, and life in all its forms.
Miriam was born in 1926 in Philadelphia, PA, the child of Russian immigrant garment workers, and was raised during the Depression. She went to work immediately following high school and was married in 1945 to Werner Marx, a German-Jewish refugee.
She arrived in Champaign-Urbana, IL in 1959 when her husband took a job at the University of Illinois as a Professor of German. Following his sudden death in Feb. 1965, she earned her BA and then MA in Comparative Literature, all while raising three children on her own. She earned her livelihood as a U of I teaching assistant and secretary.
Fulfilling her husband's and her own wishes she took her children to Freiburg, Germany for a year of travel and study in 1970-1971. In 1972, she joined the Urbana Unitarian Church. Its offshoot the Red Herring Press published her poetry chapbook Armor and Ashes in 1982. She moved to Beijing, China in 1985 and served for two years as a foreign language instructor.
Ever thirsting for meaning and fulfillment in life, in 1991 she began study to become a U-U Minister, culminating in her graduation in 1997 at the age of 70 with a Masters of Divinity. After nearly 50 years in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area she moved to Rochester, NY in Dec. 2010 to be near family.
She is survived by her children Ellen, Frederick, and Larry, daughters-in-law Deb Rosen and Tracy Seeley, son-in-law Bill Sherman, and granddaughters Emma, Natalie, and Naomi.
Memorial services will be held 1 pm, Sunday, April 13 at Quaker Friends Meeting House, 1904 East Main Street, Urbana, IL.